Advent 4.7: Joy to the World (Part Two)

Light three purple candles and one pink/red candle.
Read Isaiah 52:7-10.

“How lovely on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news,
Who announces peace and brings good news of happiness,
Who announces salvation, [and] says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”
Listen! Your watchmen lift up [their] voices, They shout joyfully together;
For they will see with their own eyes when the LORD restores Zion.
Break forth, shout joyfully together, you waste places of Jerusalem;
For the LORD has comforted His people, He has redeemed Jerusalem.
The LORD has bared His holy arm in the sight of all the nations,
That all the ends of the earth may see the salvation of our God.” (Isaiah 52:7-10)

—–

Christmas is a time of celebration as well as a time of remembrance. It is a time of joy — great joy for all who have longed for and embraced the Gospel message. As Isaac Watts wrote in his classic hymn:

“No more let sins and sorrows grow, nor thorns infest the ground!”

Jesus has come to make His blessings flow as far as the curse is found.

Christmas Day is tomorrow, and this week we explored joy, particularly the joy that is found in the babe in the manger — our Lord Jesus Christ. Isaiah said the feet of a messenger are lovely when he is bearing good news. What news doth he bear? He “announces peace and brings good news of happiness,” and he “announces salvation, saying to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!'” For in the person of Jesus we have the promised restoration of mankind — first in the heart and then, one day, in the whole wide world. Mankind can now be renewed from the inside out and the Lord is bringing His joy into the hearts of those who desire this renewal.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!

So on this most holy eve and tomorrow’s holy day, take some time to rejoice and celebrate your salvation. For God has come to dwell with the lowliest man.

— Be God’s.

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